Responding to a recent U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant for a squadron of ShadowHawk unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), Montgomery County, Texas, Chief Deputy Randy McDaniel says: “We’re very excited about the funding and looking forward to placing the equipment into the field. Both my narcotics and SWAT units have been looking at numerous ways to deploy it, and I absolutely believe it will become a critical component on all SWAT callouts and narcotics raids and emergency management operations.”
According to Vanguard Defense Industries, maker of the ShadowHawk, it can provide daytime and nighttime support in a multitude of climatic conditions that would impair most air assets.
The ShadowHawk UAS, equipped with a digital daytime camera and a thermal-infrared system, can be transported in an SUV to a designated area and launched in just under five minutes. Dependent upon the proximity of the incident to where the agency chooses to stage the UAS, the ShadowHawk can launch and be on site within a few minutes, depending upon mission requirements. With a range capability up to 25 miles, agencies can easily determine coverage requirements and mission parameters. The ShadowHawk is designed as a cost-effective way to augment an existing airwing or as a primary airborne resource.